For lovers of culture, history, and food, it can be hard to choose between Europe, Africa or the Middle East. On one end, there’s the romance and grandeur of rich European culture, but then there’s the magic and mystery behind the even older African and Middle Eastern culture.
Thankfully, there are places that marry these cultures – combining them into a unique and wonderful new experience. Zoom into the Mediterranean and you’ll find such a delightful island nation in the form of Malta.
When you think of Europe, you think of amazing culture, great food, and bustling cities. You wouldn’t normally think about great beaches. But the European Union has some hidden gems in the form of island-nation members with warm climates year-round.
Malta is an island state located in the central Mediterranean Sea. It consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, of which Malta is the largest island. Its strategic location has lent the nation a rich and turbulent history.
Malta played a vital role in the struggles of power for the domination of the Mediterranean between emerging Europe and the older cultures of Africa and the Middle East. As a result, Maltese society and culture is shaped by centuries of foreign rule under the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British. In May 2004, Malta became an EU member.
Today, Malta is a popular tourist destination known for its sunny climate and jaw-dropping landscapes that are backdrops to many film productions. The archipelago is home to some of the oldest temples in the world, like the Megalithic Temples of Malta.
The capital of Malta is Valetta, site of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Barrakka Gardens. Valetta is a small, old, walled city with only a few thousand people living here. It can be hard to find a place to live within historic Valetta, but there are plenty of new developments in the neighboring towns of Birgu, Conspicua and Senglea in the Southern Harbor district.
More of the capital’s suburbs are in the Northern Harbour District. Being closer to the ocean, this has been the most popular place for new home construction over the last few decades. In particular, Silema and St. Julians are the two cities here that are most popular with expats. These cities are full of bars and restaurants that stay open late, offering the best of Malta’s vibrant nightlife.
Living in Malta affords you excellent quality of life. If you enjoy the idea of living on an island in the Mediterranean sea while soaking up not only sunshine but incredible nightlife and big-city amenities, Malta is the place to be. While living in Malta, your main issue will be choosing between sunbathing all day or hitting the city’s streets and exploring all its amazing restaurants, bars, and heritage sites. Now that’s a problem we don’t mind having!
For everything it has to offer, a couple can live in Malta comfortably for as little as $2,600 per month. If you’re coming from a city like New York or San Francisco, you could cut your rent expense by 50-75% or more!
As this is an island where a lot of goods are imported, you’ll probably spend more on groceries than you would in the US, especially if you buy a lot of packaged goods. The trick is to eat like a local to keep the price down.
Gas is also more expensive in Malta than in the US. But the public transport system is pretty cheap and efficient. You can also live like a local and opt for a bicycle instead of getting a car. Bicycles are the best way to get around while enjoying the breathtaking view.
The Maltese know how to Do Life Right. Living like a Maltese means to live in peace and harmony with the earth. They’re very connected to nature and aware of the ecosystem. They greatly value having a clean and beautiful environment. Living in Malta promises a balanced, eco-friendly lifestyle. If that’s your thing, this could just be the place for you!
Ready to go? Make sure you get rid of those shoes and pack your best pair of flip flops! Check out our flip flop recommendations and reviews to buy a new pair to take with you on your island adventures.